Parties clash at accused arsonist's bail hearing

Two families clashed in court Tuesday as a 19-year-old firefighter accused of setting a fire that killed four people in North Lawrence appeared before a judge. The judge denied bail for Caleb Lacey,

News 12 Staff

Mar 25, 2009, 3:15 PM

Updated 5,589 days ago

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Two families clashed in court Tuesday as a 19-year-old firefighter accused of setting a fire that killed four people in North Lawrence appeared before a judge.
The judge denied bail for Caleb Lacey, who prosecutors say started the fire so he could become a hero for saving those inside. Marena Vanegas, 46, and three of her children died in the February blaze. Vanegas? husband and two other children were able to escape.
Vanegas? husband Edit collapsed in court after the hearing, yelling out ?criminal and murderer" at Lacey. The victim?s sister, America Chavez, said she could barely hold back tears after seeing Lacey.
Lacey's family shouted ?I love you? and blew kisses at him as he was lead out of court, which members of Vanegas? family say incensed them even further. Family members also say they were especially angry that Lacey showed up at the funeral before he was arrested.
Lacey?s attorney told News 12 Long Island the prosecution has a bogus confession from his client.
?The interrogated him for over 10 hours and coerced him, promising him things ... that he could leave the precinct if he told them things they wanted to hear,? attorney Christopher Cassar says. ?So this confession is worthless.?
The victim's family is considering possible civil action against Lacey. The accused will be back in court April 15.


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